Our Holistic Esthetician's Secret To A Successful Winter Morning Routine (Hint: It Starts Before Bed)
Our closets, grocery lists and skincare routines adapt with the changing of seasons, so our routines and rhythms should too.
My original blog post plan was to share what I do when I wake up in the winter - because if you’re anything like me, a little intentional boost is absolutely necessary to get out of a cozy bed on a cold, dark morning.
But the more I thought about it, I realized: a successful morning routine actually starts before bed.
Winter is the season of hibernating and hunkering down and with the sun setting at 4pm this time of year, it’s a signal to turn in and wind down a little sooner. The longer evenings are an invitation to take a bit more time and intention to slow down before bed, which will inevitably impact how we begin each day.
When I commit to a mindful bedtime routine, I wake up feeling more rested, refreshed and ready to take on the day (even before the sun is up). I’ve also noticed a consistent bedtime routine makes my morning routine simpler and more sustainable. Because let’s be real, when we overcomplicate morning routines we rarely stick with it.
So below is my winter bedtime routine for the sake of better, brighter mornings - and mood and skin!
PREP MORNING BEVS
I start my day with drinking a LOT of beverages to boost hydration first thing. When I’m dehydrated, I 100% notice a difference in the visibility of my fine lines and how my energy levels drop. Especially when the dry winter weather is working against me, my morning goal is to get my day started with an extra dose (or 3) of hydration. So to save time, simplify my mornings and set up my skin and health for success when I wake up, I prep these bevs the night before!
Here are my go-to winter beverages to enhance hydration, health and my skin’s natural glow:
- Lemon Water Elixir: Sprinkling of sea salt, a tsp of chia seeds and half a lemon in water. I let this sit overnight so the chia seeds can soak (and create longer-lasting hydration release in the body!) and it’s ready to be the first thing I reach for when I wake up.
- Chaga Tea Infusion: Steeping dried herbs or plants overnight provide even more potent hydration and medicinal properties. I prep 1 TB of wild chaga tea (the highest known antioxidant substance to boost immunity especially in the dead of winter) in hot water and let it sit all night long to brew even more health benefits.
- Liver Smoothie: This secret ingredient in my green smoothies has become my new morning energy and hydration boost that I look forward to and I get all of the ingredients ready before I go to bed. Although sipping a cold smoothie on a cold morning isn’t always ideal, I genuinely feel so grounded and balanced to begin my day that it’s something I’ve stuck to even when temps drop.
- Organic Coffee: Now, this one doesn’t belong in the hydration-boosting category (caffeine is actually quite dehydrating), but I make sure I restore hydration before enjoying my morning brew. Because let’s be honest, a cold winter morning isn’t complete without a cozy cup of coffee!
- Bone Broth: Okay this is the bev I will sip in the evening before crawling into bed. I’ll beef it up a bit (no pun intended!) with grass-fed butter, turmeric, black pepper and sea salt. Then as I sit and savor the stillness I’ll sip this collagen-boosting beauty bev.
This season of hibernation brings out the Enneagram 9 in me more than ever. Give me all the cozy vibes please - but I want all the health benefits with it!
Which is why I've swapped out chemical-filled seasonally-scented candles when the sun sets with the Winter Home Collection. This blend is by far my favorite and it’s like I’m forest bathing but from my cozy little bungalow. The organic essential oils powerfully support respiratory health and provide medicinal benefits so I diffuse the Oil Blend on my nightstand all through the night and mist the Room Spray it as I start my moments of stillness.
This season, stillness is all around us. I try to embrace this natural rhythm when the world is quiet and the sun has set beneath the horizon. It’s here I can exhale, recenter and reflect on the day. Reflection is a powerful force to move us forward in the direction we want to go (or definitely don’t want to go) and it’s here in the stillness our soul can find space to process, feel and release.
This time of savoring stillness is what carries me through cold winter days. Meditation, prayer, journaling, just breathing - no background noise, no distractions. Just an open heart, a winter oil blend diffusing in the background and a mug of bone broth beside me.
Stillness isn’t about turning your mind off or shutting it down, it’s simply allowing your mind to rest, to be at ease. Being still disrupts the status quo and is like a pause button for your soul. Without the rest, without the stillness, nature can’t bloom in the way it was intended to - and neither can we.
WINTER SKINCARE ROUTINE
When I’m consistent with my winter skincare routine before bed, it helps my skin repair and rejuvenate overnight, prep my mind for deeper sleep and I wake up with skin that’s soft, hydrated and glowy - which again, means less time spent getting ready in the morning. ;) An intentional nighttime skincare routine = better sleep, better mornings, better skin.
This is my (very) simple skincare routine and few intentional tweaks I make for winter:
- Cleansing Oil or Soothing Bar: I cleanse nightly with nourishing oils or soothing herbs to rebuild hydration with the first step of my routine. Plus I pair it with mindful facial massage motions to wash away the day, stimulate lymphatic drainage and slow down a busy mind – all without over-drying.
- Plumping Mist: Simply put, this is a much-needed drink of water for my skin! And it’s the secret to a successful winter skincare routine - layering water and oil-based products. Plus the blend of organic rose and peppermint essential oils is a little seasonal aromatherapy pick-me-up.
- Baby Balm: One balm that does it all: pat around eyes, dab onto lips and apply to face, neck and decollete for deep hydration and healing.
- Bian Gua Sha: This ancient skincare tool has become a must for me in my winter wind down routine. A nightly Gua Sha practice not only addresses winter-induced skin conditions, but it creates a more calm, quiet mind. Its rhythmic, repetitive massage movements engage the parasympathetic nervous system to support relaxation and enhance well-being in skin and spirit. Ahh…..
With less sunlight and shorter days, this little device is my saving grace. I’ve gotten into the habit of using it every night before I fall asleep because of all of the beauty and well-being benefits red light offers. Natural and non-invasive, these invisible rays harness the beneficial properties of the sun (without the harmful effects of UV rays) and are able to penetrate tissue to increase the body's core temperature, support circulation and activate lymphatic flow.
Just 10 short minutes of soaking in this healing light helps to restore immunity, boost sleep quality, balance hormones, calm inflammation and brighten my skin - what more could you ask for in the dead of winter? One of the main effects of red light therapy is stimulating serotonin levels and engaging the parasympathetic nervous system (exactly what we need as we wind down for the evening) which is why I love incorporating this in my bedtime routine.
P.S. I pair this rejuvenating and relaxing therapy with a pose called “legs up the wall” for even added stress-relief and sleep prep! I am so ready to doze off as soon as I’m done. :)
That’s it! I’ve been implementing these few rhythms in my nightly routine and it has made such a tangible difference in my mindset, sleep quality, skin state and spirit and I hope some of these rhythms help enhance your wellness this winter, as well. XO
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